“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” -Salvador Dalí

My mother just recently posted a meme to my Facebook wall. It was from a writing FB group, and the text of it read “Focus on the story, not the sentence.”

My response: “But…but….but, I must make that sentence perfect. And then, because I changed *it*, I must go back and make ALL the preceding sentences agree with what I just said.
And while I am doing that, another thought occurs to me about how to make this other particular c
lunky thing work better, and now I have to go through and make changes to the appropriate sentences that *it* touches on.
And that is how I can spend four hours on three paragraphs.”

Mom: “I think that may be classified as OCD!”

MRW I read over my own words.

I suspect other writers do this same thing, at least to an extent. The trick is, of course, to keep writing and writing and writing and then go back through for editing.

I have not yet managed that trick.
I think what I am doing now, sitting down at least every day or so and putting pen to paper (or, rather fingers to keyboard), is a good start. It is better than I had been doing while in the Pit of Despair.

 Anxiety sucks. It sucks all the will and life and words right out of you.

So, being able to sit down and write again is a blessing. And there has been a tickle of fiction mixed in there too; not just my normal whining that I do here.

"Lord bitch. You don't write. you whine."  [I maybe getting that quote a little wrong.]
“Lord bitch. You don’t write. You whine.”
[I may be getting that quote a little wrong.]
At any rate, writing = good.
Writing fiction sections = very good.
Learning to not overanalyze every single thing I do/write = also good.

As a way to motivate myself, I am going to try and put up some snippets of the words that I do write.
You know, and keep to the actual premise of this blog in the first place.

What would you do if I sang out of tune....
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? 

Soooo, Shake Your Shimmy

Between being sick and some personal issues, depression has been knocking on the door.

I woke up this morning and decided that I needed to sing this song* to myself. It’s like my normal self is singing to what my friend Rowan calls Traitor Brain. It’s that part of yourself that tells you the lies that anxiety and depression live on.

Sister, you’ve been on my mind
Sister, we’re two of a kind
So, sister, I’m keepin’ my eye on you.

I betcha think I don’t know nothin’
But singin’ the blues, oh, sister,
Have I got news for you, I’m something,
I hope you think that you’re something too

Scufflin’, I been up that lonesome road
And I seen alot of suns going down
Oh, but trust me,
No-o low life’s gonna run me around.

So let me tell you something Sister,
Remember your name, No twister
Gonna steal your stuff away, my sister,
We sho’ ain’t got a whole lot of time,
So-o-o shake your shimmy Sister,
‘Cause honey the ‘Shug’ is feelin’ fine.

ETA:  This does not mean that I can sing depression away. Doesn’t work like that. What it does mean is that a flutter of light appeared at the same moment that depression started to rear its terrible head.

* – Link included if you want to sing along.
Original song sung by Tata Vega

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Now is the Time for Me to Rise*

My friends, I must ask you a question.

When did writing become so hard? When did it become a chore to drag a word, a thought, a process out of the black hole of my <admittedly capricious> brain?

I’ll tell you when.

It isn’t age.
Authors have bloomed late in life.

But, I think…at least for me..that is a part of it.

There was a time y’all, when I could sit down and just….write. Words and ideas and dialogue and character motivation just flowed out of me, a river of thoughts. It was awesome. I thought it would last forever – I’m a writer this how I write all y’all so jelly of my ability to pull the words out and fap fap fap and so on and so forth.

But, it didn’t last. At least, not for me.

Now I sit down at the computer and stare sullenly at the blinky cursor. Angry. Sad. DARING the fucking words to just repopulate, once more.

If this were a Disney move, this is the point where I would tell y’all that magical talking mice or a tiny spacebot came and talked me through/took me on zany life-altering adventures.
This isn’t Disney, though.

What this is is the same exact thing that happened to me when I went to college. I had never done super well in school. But, except for a couple of choice classes (I’m looking at you, Maths) I did OK. And it wasn’t terribly hard, at all. I could study the text/notes/cliffnotes the night before and do well on an exam. That plus turning in the big homeworks usually kept my grades to an acceptable level.

But, I hadn’t flexed my study habit muscles. Like, ever. So, when I got to college and they expected me to, you know, actually work? Total shocker. It took a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and desperation (I despise losing) to get to where I was a good student.

And I think? I think that this is what might be happening here. I sit down now with a higher expectation of my writing. It has to go somewhere, do something. Not just exist and take up space.

I blame the English degree.

So, now I sit there and try to force a behavior that doesn’t feel natural to me anymore.

Is it age?
Is it atrophy of the skill?
Is it  something completely different?

Maybe I am wrong about the reasons why I am struggling with fiction so much right now.
I mean, it feels right as an answer, but I have certainly been misguided by my brain before.

I guess the only way I will know is if I sit down and do the work. Break out the blood, sweat, and tears. Desperation, I’ve already got handled, yo.

I still hate losing.

* – Title is from here.
Now is the time for me to rise to my feet (I will be heard)